StyleTails was lucky enough to be invited to catch up with the BBC’s Barking Blondes Joanne Good and Anna Webb, along with their ‘furkids’, Molly and Matilda. Their weekly radio show – Barking at the Moon has become some what of a phenomenon and after spending an some time in their mad studio – it’s not hard to see why!
When you’re asked to be a guest on the world’s only two hour radio show all about dogs, you say “YES! YES!”…….. I mean “WOOF! WOOF!” I am of course talking about BBC London’s, Barking at the Moon. The crazily popular Thursday night slot is hosted by barking blondes – Joanne Good and Anna Webb, along with the only two dogs allowed in the BBC – Matilda, Joanne’s adorable English Bulldog and Molly, Anna’s gorgeous Miniature Bull Terrier.
A radio show all about dogs you say? YES INDEED! This story starts where all good stories start. Over a sausage. Barking at the Moon was born two and a half years ago when Joanne, host of the Late Show and Anna, a doggie expert met at the Honest Sausage in Regents Park. Despite the doubts of the BBC (along with their reluctance to let Jo and Anna’s dogs in the studio), Barking at the Moon became a bonafide hit.
Joanne, Anna, Molly and Matilda are now attracting over half a million listeners every week from the UK, Hawaii and even Australia. Their totally infectious bubbly banter, celebrity guests, doggy tunes and the odd “WOOF WOOF” from the dogs is so entertaining, you might just find yourself barking along.
Much to the surprise of the BBC, Barking at the Moon has become phenomenally popular. What do you think it is about Barking at the Moon that people love?
“Whilst BBC London management is still scratching it’s head at the popularity of show, it mustn’t be underestimated that people love dogs. Over 27% of all Londoners own a dog! It’s an addictive combination of lots of guests in the studio with a growing compilation of very rare and fun doggy tunes that offer a unique two hours of listening. Added to this the interaction with listeners both live and online adds to the energy of the show that makes people smile.”
Your dogs Molly and Matilda are the only dogs allowed in the BBC. That must make for an interesting environment in the studio?!
“We’re so proud that our girls are the only dogs allowed into a BBC studio. Not even Jenni Murray can hold her Chihuahuas on Woman’s Hour! Molly and Matilda give the show an authenticity with their barking in tune to songs and snoring as they relax during an interview. Perhaps one of the funniest moments was when Molly raided the bin and found the remains of Danny Baker’s lunch which was hoovered up in seconds or when Matilda accidentally confused the microphone shield for a tasty chew.”
It sounds like you have a ball while you’re on air. What has been your best memory from the show over the past two and a half years?
“The on-going enthusiasm and positive feedback of all our guests and listeners is always so rewarding. It’s also reaching guests that would never usually consider an interview, but are happy to chat for ages about their four-legged best friend. Brayan Adams for example rarely gives live radio interviews. The elusive Cath Kidson agreed to only talk about Stanley her Lakeland Terrier, despite tripping over him and breaking her hip.”
Who has been your favourite guest on the show?
“We’ve been so lucky to have a list of great guests that’s too long to mention, but Masterchef, Greg Wallace was great to interview. He’s taken on dogs later in life, so it was interesting to discover his perspective. When Julian Clary joined us in the studio, we were concerned that all the listeners heard was our excitement: but they say laughter is infectious. What is clear from all our interviews is that dogs enrich lives, and all our guests help us celebrate man’s best friend.”
What do you love most about working on the show?
“We love sharing the laughter and the joy that owning a dog adds to our ‘grey’ human lives. We LOVE celebrating dogs and both Molly and Matilda attract so much attention on a Thursday evening and they regularly bring a smile to everyone’s faces from the newsroom, to the security guards and fellow presenters – Molly and Matilda have made dog lovers out of the most phobic. The show is also a chance for us to spread knowledge and informed views on an array of subjects from what to feed your dog to the latest must-have toys, the newest bio-degradable poo bag to the coveted faux fur throws on the market.”
You’ve done so much already including TV appearances on BBC Breakfast, ITV and Sky1’s ‘Dogumentary’ – A Different Breed. What’s next for Barking at the Moon?
“We’ve been commissioned to write a book under the working title “The Barking Blondes’. We’re ridiculously excited about this and can’t wait for Spring 2013 when it will be published in hardback. Following this we’ll be back doing a Barking Blondes stage show and Barking at the Moon will continue to build. And who knows what’s in store next – maybe our own TV show? Woof! Woof!”
WOOF WOOF Indeed!
You can follow Barking at the Moon on Facebook www.facebook.com/BarkingattheMoon and Twitter www.twitter.com/BarkingBlondes. You can also read Joanne and Anna’s weekly blog in The Independent here